Kenya food
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Kenya food and drink

Admittedly the Kenyan kitchen isn't really anything to write home about, that is until you get to the Indian Ocean. They've got all the ingredients - vegetables from the Riff Valley find their way into most UK supermarkets, but poverty and subsistence has curbed culinary innovation.

The nation's staple is ugali, similar in texture and tastelessness to a dumpling, but made out of ground maize. It's used to soak up any number of stews ranging from chicken to bean. Celebrations see tables flexing under mountains of nyama choma, not one for vegetarians, here anything that moves is game for a place on the barbecue, including: impala, giraffe and crocodile.

Along the coast centuries spice trade and an abundance of seafood elevate their cuisine to haute. Game fishing is big - Malindi, in the north was a favourite haunt of Hemmingway, and marlin, swordfish, wahoo and tuna are regulars on the menu. The balmy climate encourages the growth of custard apples, mangoes, papaya, guava and the near ubiquitous coconut(used to complement many a fish dish). Kenyan's are masters at blending exotic fruit juices, but have still got some work to do when it comes to hot drinks.

Tea, chai, is brewed in the kettle along with the milk and pounds of sugar and often accompanied by a mandaz i - the Kenyan take on a doughnut. Coffee's another disaster zone as most of the coffee beans are exported you're liable to end up with a cup of nescoffee.

The national tipple is beer, and while the local brews, notably banana beer, should be avoided a cold bottle of Tusker or White Cap is a welcome sight after a dusty day in a game reserve. If none of the above excites you, you could have a stab at the Masai mainstay of Zebu's milk and blood.



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